“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” Thus starts Charles Dickens “Tale of Two Cities,” and this phrase immediately came to me when I heard that Newsweek was contemplating “ending” its printed version of this iconic news magazine.
Since every story has two sides, I immediately searched for information and discovered that it’s highly unlikely that the printed version is going to go away, but it’s going to be different. To quote IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller, “I can’t tell you in what ways it will be different, but it will be different.”
So, what does this tell the print industry? Nothing really new. The days of mass media consumption as we knew in the last century are going away. This is not good news for the RR Donnelley’s and Quad Graphics of the world. This should be good news for the rest of the industry. In my opinion, magazine production will continue – but runs will be much shorter, targeted and incorporate multi-media. This will open doors for many who are willing to take advantage of the changing business model in periodicals.